Cubs Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Julio Urias Tries To Stop First-Inning Home Run Streak
Julio Urias
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a four-game losing streak and now look to generate some momentum against the Chicago Cubs, who are 4-1 in the team’s head-to-head meetings this season.

Although the Dodgers managed to get back in the win column, they have gone a franchise-record five straight games with allowing a home run in the first inning. The onus to try stopping that now falls to Julio Urias, who has been mired in some difficulties and historically struggles in the first inning.

Urias enters 9-3 with a 3.99 ERA, 3.59 FIP and 1.07 WHIP in 15 starts. Urias’ 88 innings pitched are already a career high, which has lent to questions of possible fatigue.

“Certain starts, I think it’s been the fastball command,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urias’ troubles. “I don’t think that was the case [Monday]. I don’t think there’s one particular thing that’s led to that inflated ERA.

“I don’t see fatigue. I think the stuff has held. Certainly, the results recently haven’t mirrored the stuff, in my opinion. We’re monitoring it each outing.

“I think the breaking ball and changeup at times have been very good, and the fastball has been very good. And he’s held velocity, so there’s been nothing that’s kind of spoke to a shut down, skipping of a start or anything like that.”

The Cubs counter with Alex Mills in what’s only his fourth start of the season and 16th overall game. The right-hander enters 3-1 with a 5.18 ERA but has only allowed a combined five earned runs in his three starts thus far.

Mills made his first start on April 13, then not again until back-to-back outings June 15 and 20. Mills allowed two unearned runs on three hits over two innings of work in a relief appearance against the Dodgers during the May series at Wrigley Field.

Cody Bellinger is getting a night off for rest and is expected to play the next three games heading into an off day.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
C: Will Smith
SS: Gavin Lux
CF: Chris Taylor
LF: AJ Pollock
2B: Zach McKinstry
P: Julio Urias

Cubs lineup

C: Willson Contreras
LF: Kris Bryant
1B: Anthony Rizzo
SS: Javier Baez
3B: Patrick Wisdom
CF: Jake Marisnick
RF: Jason Heyward
2B: Sergio Alcantara
P: Alec Mills

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